Niantic is collecting and distributing personal details about Pokémon GO players that have nothing to do with the game.
Pokémon GO creator, Niantic, automatically collects a wide range of personal data on all players, including precise location data, photos, profile and account information, and information obtained through Cookies and Web Beacons. The company considers players’ personal data to be “business assets,” and to play the game you must agree to having your information sold to unidentified third parties for advertising, research, and analysis purposes, or handed over to government or law enforcement officials.
If Niantic gets hacked – and you can be sure there are people out there trying to do just that – the personal information of millions of people, including many children, would be compromised. That means identity thieves will have access to extremely intimate details about your lives – where you live, what the inside of your house looks like, who you associate with, and more.
Augmented reality games and apps present extra sensitive privacy concerns because they are integrated into the most personal spaces and moments of our lives. As Pokémon GO spreads across the world as the first viral augmented reality app, it’s important that they get the privacy concerns right. Otherwise, the future of augmented reality, virtual reality, and related technologies will make use all less safe.